At LIM College, the Office of Counseling Services stresses the importance of a “community approach” to mental health, making it their goal to encourage the psychological wellbeing and individual development of students by offering counseling, outreach, and wellness services.
“It’s important to have a climate on campus where talking about mental health and taking proactive steps to support it is normalized,” says Heather O’Leary, Ph.D., Director of Counseling Services.
The Office of Counseling Services provides one-on-one counseling sessions to students to help them deal with a range of issues, from roommate problems and adjusting to college life, to more serious chronic mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Counselors also consult with faculty and staff on a variety of issues, such as how to recognize students who need help, ways to connect a student with Counseling Services or other resources, and crisis intervention and management.
A combination of in-person and virtual services is offered at Counseling Services’s Maxwell Hall office as well as via telehealth. In-person counseling is accessible to all students who can physically attend their appointments, and telehealth is available to students who live in New York State and are unable to meet in person. Office hours are 9am - 5pm Monday through Friday and 9am - 7pm on Wednesdays. Anyone having an after-hours crisis is encouraged to call or text 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
The Office of Counseling Services can also provide referrals to other resources in the surrounding community for services that are not available on campus. Common referrals include psychiatric care, long-term counseling, and specialized treatment options if needed for substance use and eating disordered behaviors. A partnership with Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care gives students priority access to healthcare throughout New York City.
One of the ways Counseling Services gets the wider LIM community involved is through open forums with faculty and staff. In these sessions faculty can learn about issues affecting students and share what they have been witnessing in their classrooms. A monthly newsletter covers various topics, such as grief or relationships, and provides resources and strategies to deal with them.
Over the course of the academic year, the Office of Counseling Services holds many workshops, support groups, seminars, and tabling events to increase understanding of mental health challenges and encourage personal and community development. Many of these events have brought in outside guest speakers and experts and involved student clubs and on-campus resources.
Programs, support groups, and topics include:
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Bystander Awareness
- Healthy Eating for College Students
- Stress Management
- Combating Seasonal Depression
- Navigating Post-Election Reactions
- Transitioning to College
- Safety in NYC: Self-Defense Training
- Film Screenings and Discussions
- Young, Gifted and Black: Sitcom Series and Discussion (presented by BRAG and Counseling Services)
- Attachment: Building Healthy Relationships
- Sex Positivity: Healthy Sexuality for College Students
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) awareness and testing (at GoHealth Urgent Care)
- Grief & Loss Workshop and Support Group
- Dog Therapy
- TikTok True or False: Social Media and Mental Health
Says Dr. O’Leary, “Whether it is staff, faculty, or students, I hope we can all continue to come together to support mental health on campus.”